FLORIDA V. FLORIDA ATLANTIC
- Thursday, September 27th
- Boca Raton, FL (FAU)
- Results (also on Meet Mobile)
- Men: UF 227 – FAU 52
- Women: UF 210 – FAU 68
In the first meet for the Florida Gators now that longtime head coach Gregg Troy has retired from leading the combined program, the men and women both handed Florida Atlantic resounding defeats in Boca Raton. New women’s head coach Jeff Poppell and new associate head coach Whitney Hite got their first win on the board as the Gator women downed FAU 210-68, while Anthony Nesty and Stephen Jungbluth registered an easy win on the men’s side 227-52.
Mabel and Rosie Zavaros, twins from Canada who are freshmen at Florida, took home two wins apiece at Florida’s first dual meet of the season. Mabel was 4:54.55 to take the 500 free, but not before she hit a 10:06.75 to win the 1000 in the first individual race of the meet. Rosie, meanwhile, swept the backstrokes with times of 57.32 in the 100 and 2:01.47 in the 200.
Junior Kelly Fertel was a double winner as well, clocking times of 2:15.11 in the 200 breast and 2:02.24 in the 200 IM for easy wins.
Additionally, freshmen Kirschtine Balbuena (50 free, 23.76) and Vanessa Pearl (200 fly, 2:01.88) found wins today in their first tastes of NCAA competition. This is an important freshman class for Florida, who could be looking at a turning point after falling out as a perennial NCAA power the last few seasons. Many swam off events, so it’s yet to be seen if this rookie class can help the Gator women get back on their feet.
Florida was dominant against FAU nonetheless, winning nearly every individual event as well as both relays. They finished at 1:42.79 in the 200 medley relay, keying on a 25.57 backstroke lead-off from junior Emma Ball and a 24.25 fly split from junior Sherridon Dressel. Their 400 free relay posted the top time of 3:28.24.
The lone winner for Florida Atlantic was Fatimah Westbrook, who posted a 1:04.66 to take the 100 breast over UF freshman Layla Black‘s 1:05.49.
Junior Maxime Rooney, now an upperclassman leader for the Gators, pulled out two wins and was key on relays to help lift Florida over FAU.
Rooney absolutely dominated the 100 fly with a time of 47.87 — no other competitor was under 50 seconds. The 50 free was much tighter, as Rooney posted a 20.57 to edge freshman Will Davis (20.82). Rooney and Davis made up the back end of the winning 200 medley relay (1:28.68), as Rooney split a 21.31 fly and Davis anchored a 20.27. The front half of that relay was redshirt senior Bailey Main at 22.22 leading off strong, followed by junior Chandler Bray with a 24.88 breast split.
With All-American Michael Taylor taking a redshirt season, Main will be heavily depended on to lead UF in the backstrokes. He won’t have to brunt that alone, however, thanks to exceptional backstrokers (and freshmen) Kieran Smith and Kacper Stokowski. Main won the 100 back in 48.87, just edging Smith (49.21), while Main was 2nd in the 200 (1:49.50) behind another freshman, distance specialist Robert Finke (1:49.03).
Stokowski, meanwhile, posted a win in the 200 free with a time of 1:38.55. The freshman from Poland has been heralded as a key backstroke get for UF, but he’s also a strong freestyler who could end up being a free relay asset down the road. Another freshman, Trey Freeman, took the 500 free with a time of 4:28.77.
In the breaststrokes, junior Marco Guarente was 2:02.12 to edge seniors Stanley Wu (2:02.54) and Ross Palazzo (2:02.63). Wu took the 100 breast in 55.56 over junior Bray (56.27). One more notable win for UF came in the 200 IM thanks to junior Grant Sanders, who notched a strong 1:48.03 as the only finisher sub-1:50.
The 400 free relay came down to the finish for UF’s A and B relays, with Rooney delivering a 43.88 leg for the A team to grab them the win (3:00.06). Freshman Smith was 44.77 as the top split for the B team (3:00.77).